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Posted by: Raymond McDougall on 06.12.2017 | Filed under: Latest, Recent Mineral Updates | Comments (0)

 

Great new specimens from the United States feature in this US Update (click here). Wulfenites from the Red Cloud Mine, a Kelly Mine smithsonite, a Colorado amazonite, excellent ramsdellite specimens, a beautiful specimen hosting covellite crystals, and more.

Wulfenite, Red Cloud Mine, Trigo Mountains, La Paz Co., Arizona, US

 Wulfenite, Red Cloud Mine, Trigo Mountains, La Paz Co., Arizona, US – crystal 1.0 cm

Smithsonite, Kelly Mine, Magdalena, Socorro Co., New Mexico, US

Smithsonite, Kelly Mine, Magdalena, Socorro Co., New Mexico, US – 10.6 cm

Microcline, var. Amazonite, Smoky Quartz, Smoky Hawk Claim, Crystal Peak Area, Teller Co., Colorado, USA

Microcline, var. Amazonite, Smoky Quartz, Smoky Hawk Claim
Crystal Peak Area, Teller Co., Colorado, USA – 5.5 cm

Wulfenite, Red Cloud Mine, Trigo Mountains, La Paz Co., Arizona, US

Wulfenite, Red Cloud Mine, Trigo Mountains, La Paz Co., Arizona, US – 4.7 cm

Wulfenite, Red Cloud Mine, Trigo Mountains, La Paz Co., Arizona, US

Wulfenite, Red Cloud Mine, Trigo Mountains, La Paz Co., Arizona, US – 3.1 cm

Wulfenite, Red Cloud Mine, Trigo Mountains, La Paz Co., Arizona, US

Wulfenite, Red Cloud Mine, Trigo Mountains, La Paz Co., Arizona, US
Field of view 1.5 cm

Wulfenite, Red Cloud Mine, Trigo Mountains, La Paz Co., Arizona, US

Wulfenite, Red Cloud Mine, Trigo Mountains, La Paz Co., Arizona, US
Crystal 0.6 cm

Wulfenite, Red Cloud Mine, Trigo Mountatins, La Paz Co., Arizona, US

Wulfenite, Red Cloud Mine, Trigo Mountatins, La Paz Co., Arizona, US
Field of view 2.5 cm

Quartz on Chrysocolla, Ray Mine, Pinal Co., Arizona, US

Quartz on Chrysocolla, Ray Mine, Pinal Co., Arizona, US – 4.0 cm

Covellite, Summitville Mine, Summitville District, Rio Grande Co., Colorado, US

Covellite, Summitville Mine, Summitville District, Rio Grande Co., Colorado, US
Rosettes 0.7 cm

Ramsdellite, Mistake Mine, Sam Powell Peak, Yavapai Co., Arizona, US

Ramsdellite, Mistake Mine, Sam Powell Peak, Yavapai Co., Arizona, US

Hubnerite, Little Dora Mine, Silverton, Colorado, US

Hubnerite, Little Dora Mine, Silverton, Colorado, US
Field of view 3.3 cm

Posted by: Raymond McDougall on 05.14.2017 | Filed under: Latest, Recent Mineral Updates | Comments (0)

 

I’ve added some super specimens from Mount Malosa in this new Malawi Update (click here). These include excellent crystals of aegirine, arfvedsonite, smoky quartz with epididymite inclusions, microcline and zircon. Under shortwave ultraviolet light, the microcline is a striking deep pink-red colour, and the zircons exhibit various hues of yellow.

Aegirine on Microcline, Mount Malosa, Zomba District, Malawi

Aegirine on Microcline, Mount Malosa, Zomba District, Malawi – 8.0 cm

Aegirine with Zircon and Microcline, Mount Malosa, Zomba District, Malawi

Aegirine with Zircon and Microcline, Mount Malosa, Zomba District, Malawi – 8.3 cm

Quartz, var. Smoky Quartz with Epididymite on Albite, Mount Malosa, Zomba District, Malawi

Quartz, var. Smoky Quartz with Epididymite on Albite, Mount Malosa, Zomba District, Malawi – 8.2 cm

Zircon on Quartz, var. Smoky Quartz , Mount Malosa, Zomba District, Malawi

Zircon on Quartz, var. Smoky Quartz , Mount Malosa, Zomba District, Malawi – 5.7 cm

Microcline (Baveno Twin), photographed in shortwave ultraviolet light,  Mount Malosa, Zomba District, Malawi

Microcline (Baveno Twin), photographed in shortwave ultraviolet light
Mount Malosa, Zomba District, Malawi – 4.0 cm

Arfvedsonite, Mount Malosa, Zomba, Malawi

Arfvedsonite, Mount Malosa, Zomba, Malawi
Field of view – 3.5 cm

Epidiymite and Eudidymite in Smoky Quartz, Mount Malosa, Zomba, Malawi

Epididymite and Eudidymite in Smoky Quartz, Mount Malosa, Zomba, Malawi
Field of view – 1.7 cm

Epididymite in Quartz, Mount Malosa, Zomba, Malawi

Epididymite in Quartz, Mount Malosa, Zomba, Malawi
Field of view 3.0 cm

Arfvedsonite, Zircon on Microcline, Mount Malosa, Zomba District, Malawi

Arfvedsonite, Zircon on Microcline, Mount Malosa, Zomba District, Malawi – 5.4 cm
Photographed in shortwave ultraviolet light

 Aegirine, Mount Malosa, Zomba District, Malawi
Aegirine, Mount Malosa, Zomba District, Malawi – 7.3 cm

Albite on Microcline, Mount Malosa, Zomba District, Malawi

Albite on Microcline, Mount Malosa, Zomba District, Malawi – 3.8 cm

Aegirine on Microcline, Mount Malosa, Zomba District, Malawi

Aegirine on Microcline, Mount Malosa, Zomba District, Malawi – 3.3 cm

Quartz with Riebeckite inclusions, Mount Malosa, Zomba District, Malawi

Quartz with Riebeckite inclusions, Mount Malosa, Zomba District, Malawi – 5.0 cm

Posted by: Raymond McDougall on 04.06.2017 | Filed under: Latest, Recent Mineral Updates | Comments (0)

 

I’ve posted some new specimens in this Peru Update (click here). These include hubnerite, alabandite, clinoatacamite, quartz/chrysocolla, chalcopyrite, spinel-twinned galena, proustite and top quality pyrite. Some of these were collected recently and some go back a few years.

 Hubnerite on Quartz, Mundo Nuevo Mine, Huamachuco, Sanchez Carrion Province, La Libertad Dept., PeruHubnerite on Quartz, Mundo Nuevo Mine, Huamachuco, Sanchez Carrion Province, La Libertad Dept., Peru
Field of view 3.5 cm

Pyrite on Quartz, Huanzala Mine, Huallanca District, Dos de Mayo Province, Huanuco Dept., Peru

Pyrite on Quartz, Huanzala Mine, Huallanca District, Dos de Mayo Province, Huanuco Dept., Peru
Field of view 3.5 cm

Alabandite, Uchucchacua Mine, Oyon Province, Lima Dept., Peru

Alabandite, Uchucchacua Mine, Oyon Province, Lima Dept., Peru – 8.7 cm

Prousite, Uchucchacua Mine, Oyon Province, Lima Dept., Peru

Prousite, Uchucchacua Mine, Oyon Province, Lima Dept., Peru
Field of view 1.5 cm

Galena (spinel-law-twinned), Huanzala Mine, Huallanca District, Dos de Mayo Province, Huanuco Dept., Peru

Galena (spinel-law-twinned), Huanzala Mine, Huallanca District, Dos de Mayo Province, Huanuco Dept., Peru
Field of view

Pyrite, Huanzala Mine, Huallanca District, Dos de Mayo Province, Huanuco Dept., Peru

Pyrite, Huanzala Mine, Huallanca District, Dos de Mayo Province, Huanuco Dept., Peru
5.0 cm across, in this orientation

Chalcopyrite, Quartz, Animon Mine, Huaron District, Pasco Dept., Peru

Chalcopyrite, Quartz, Animon Mine, Huaron District, Pasco Dept., Peru – 5.0 cm

Atacamite, Lily Mine, Pisco Umay, Ica Dept., PeruAtacamite, Lily Mine, Pisco Umay, Ica Dept., Peru
Field of view

Clinoatacamite, Malachite, Lily Mine, Pisco Umay, Ica Dept., Peru

Clinoatacamite with Malachite, Lily Mine, Pisco Umay, Ica Dept., Peru
Field of view 1.1 cm

Clinoatacamite on Quartz,  Lily Mine, Pisco Umay, Ica Dept., Peru

Clinoatacamite on Quartz, Lily Mine, Pisco Umay, Ica Dept., Peru
Crystal group 0.4 cm

Quartz, Chrysocolla, Malachite, Lily Mine, Pisco Umay, Ica Dept., Peru

Quartz on Chrysocolla and Malachite, Lily Mine, Pisco Umay, Ica Dept., Peru
Field of view

Quartz, Chrysocolla, Malachite, Lily Mine, Pisco Umay, Ica Dept., Peru

Quartz on Chrysocolla and Malachite, Lily Mine, Pisco Umay, Ica Dept., Peru – 5.5 cm

Posted by: Raymond McDougall on 01.14.2017 | Filed under: Latest, Recent Mineral Updates | Comments (0)

I’ve posted some beautiful new specimens in this Morocco Update (click here).  The pieces include azurite from Kerrochen and Bou Beker, vanadinite from Taouz, pyrite-coated fluorite from El Hammam, purple fluorite from Tounfit, twinned cerussite from Mibladen and quartz on siderite from Gourrama.

Azurite, Kerrouchen, Khenifra Province, Morocco
Azurite, Kerrouchen, Khenifra Province, Morocco
Crystal 2.5 cm

Azurite, Kerrouchen, Khenifra Province, Morocco

Azurite, Kerrouchen, Khenifra Province, Morocco
Crystal 3.1 cm

Azurite, Bou Beker, Touissit-Bou Beker District, Jerada Province, Morocco

Azurite, Bou Beker, Touissit – Bou Beker District, Jerada Province, Morocco – 9.7 cm

Azurite with Malachite, Bou Beker, Touissit - Bou Beker District, Jerada Province, Morocco

Azurite with Malachite, Bou Beker, Touissit – Bou Beker District, Jerada Province, Morocco – 6.3 cm

Vanadinite, Taouz, Er Rachidia Province, Morocco

Vanadinite, Taouz, Er Rachidia Province, Morocco – 5.2 cm

Fluorite coated with Pyrite, El Hammam Mine, Meknes, Meknes-Tafilalet Region, Morocco

Fluorite coated with Pyrite, El Hammam Mine, Meknes, Meknes-Tafilalet Region, Morocco – 6.0 cm

Fluorite coated with Pyrite, El Hammam Mine, Meknes, Meknes-Tafilalet Region, Morocco

Fluorite coated with Pyrite, El Hammam Mine, Meknes, Meknes-Tafilalet Region, Morocco – 4.2 cm

Cerussite with Barite, Les Dalles Mine, Mibladen Mining District, Midelt, Khenifra Province, Morocco

Cerussite with Barite, Les Dalles Mine, Mibladen Mining District, Midelt, Khenifra Province, Morocco
Field of view 2.0 cm

Fluorite, Tounfit, Boumia, Khenifra Province, Morocco

Fluorite, Tounfit, Boumia, Khenifra Province, Morocco
Field of view 4.0 cm

Fluorite, Tounfit, Boumia, Khenifra Province, Morocco

Fluorite, Tounfit, Boumia, Khenifra Province, Morocco
Field of view 3.5 cm

Fluorite, Tounfit, Boumia, Khenifra Province, Morocco

Fluorite, Tounfit, Boumia, Khenifra Province, Morocco
Field of view 2.0 cm

Fluorite, Tounfit, Boumia, Khenifra Province, Morocco

Fluorite, Tounfit, Boumia, Khenifra Province, Morocco
Field of view 3.0 cm

Quartz, Siderite, Gourrama, Er Rachidia, Morocco

Quartz, Siderite, Gourrama, Er Rachidia, Morocco
Crystal 3.2 cm

Posted by: Raymond McDougall on 09.27.2016 | Filed under: Latest, Recent Mineral Updates | Comments (0)

 

I’ve posted some excellent new specimens in this Brazil Update (click here). This update is a mix of great pieces from various finds and localities. Among them, there is a superb spessartine from the 2003 pocket at the Navegadora Mine and a gorgeous rutile star with glass-clear pale smoky quartz crystals over it. This update features some exceptionally fine crystals of rutile var struverite-ilmenorutile, and it also includes sharp crystals of chrysoberyl var. alexandrite. Many more fine specimens, including excellent crystals of montebrasite, brazilianite, spodumene var. kunzite, muscovite (including “star”-twinned crystals), rutilated quartz and sceptered quartz.

Spessartine Garnet, Navegadora Mine, Penha do Norte, Conselheiro Pena, Minas Gerais, Brazil

 Spessartine Garnet, Navegadora Mine, Penha do Norte, Conselheiro Pena, Minas Gerais, Brazil – 6 cm

Quartz, Rutile, Hematite, Novo Horizonte, Bahia, Brazil

Quartz on a Rutile-Hematite star, Novo Horizonte, Bahia, Brazil
Field of view 6 cm

 Rutile, var. Struverite-Ilmenorutile, Golconda District, Governador Valadares, Minas Gerais, BrazilRutile, var. Struverite-Ilmenorutile, Golconda District, Governador Valadares, Minas Gerais, Brazil – 4.1 cm

Rutile, var. Struverite-Ilmenorutile, Santa Rosa Mine, Itambacuri, Doce Valley, Minas Gerais, Brazil

Rutile, var. Struverite-Ilmenorutile, Santa Rosa Mine, Itambacuri, Doce Valley, Minas Gerais, Brazil – 3.1 cm

Rutile, var. Struverite-Ilmenorutile, Santa Rosa Mine, Itambacuri, Doce Valley, Minas Gerais, Brazil

Rutile, var. Struverite-Ilmenorutile, Santa Rosa Mine, Itambacuri, Doce Valley, Minas Gerais, Brazil – 2.5 cm

Rutile, Diamantina, Jequitinhonha Valley, Minas Gerais, Brazil

Rutile, Diamantina, Jequitinhonha Valley, Minas Gerais, Brazil – 3.8 cm

Montebrasite, Telirio Claim, Linoplois, Divino das Laranjeiras, Minas Gerais, Brazil

Montebrasite, Telirio Claim, Linoplois, Divino das Laranjeiras, Minas Gerais, Brazil
Field of view 3.3 cm

Brazilianite, Telirio Claim, Linoplois, Divino das Laranjeiras, Brazil

Brazilianite, Telirio Claim, Linoplois, Divino das Laranjeiras, Brazil – 4.2 cm

Chrysoberyl var. Alexandrite, Carnaíba District, Pindobaçu, Bahia, Brazil

Chrysoberyl var. Alexandrite, Carnaíba District, Pindobaçu, Bahia, Brazil – 1.5 cm twin

Chrysoberyl var. Alexandrite, Carnaíba District, Pindobaçu, Bahia, Brazil

Chrysoberyl var. Alexandrite, Carnaíba District, Pindobaçu, Bahia, Brazil – 4.7 cm

Chrysoberyl (Twinned) on Muscovite, Rio das Pratinhas, Arataca, Bahia, Brazil

Chrysoberyl (Twinned) on Muscovite, Rio das Pratinhas, Arataca, Bahia, Brazil – 3.1 cm

Spodumene var. Kunzite, Urucum Mine, Galilea, Minas Gerais, Brazil

Spodumene var. Kunzite, Urucum Mine, Galilea, Minas Gerais, Brazil – 6.9 cm

Muscovite ("Star Mica"), Jenipapo Mine, Itinga, Minas Gerais, Brazil

Muscovite (“Star Mica”), Jenipapo Mine, Itinga, Minas Gerais, Brazil – 6.6 cm

Rutilated Quartz, Novo Horizonte, Bahia, Brazil

Rutilated Quartz, Novo Horizonte, Bahia, Brazil – 9.4 cm

Quartz, Barra do Salinas, Coronel Murta, Minas Gerais, Brazil

Quartz, Barra do Salinas, Coronel Murta, Minas Gerais, Brazil – 7.0 cm

Quartz, Barra do Salinas, Coronel Murta, Minas Gerais, Brazil

Quartz, Barra do Salinas, Coronel Murta, Minas Gerais, Brazil – 7.1 cm

Posted by: Raymond McDougall on 09.02.2016 | Filed under: Latest, Recent Mineral Updates | Comments (0)

 

I’ve added some great new French specimens in this France Update (click here).

Several were recently collected by French collector Grégoire de Bodinat at the Mésage Mine, Saint-Pierre-de-Mésage, Isère, France. The Mésage Mine was originally explored in the early-nineteenth century for iron, and the underground workings have been abandoned since the late-nineteenth century. Grégoire had a nice selection of high quality specimens from this classic region – siderite with quartz, ankerite crystals, and sharp bournonite crystals with white barite.

This update also includes a fine bournonite from Saint-Laurent-le-Minier, and a water-clear (literally!) calcite crystal perched on smaller calcite crystals from Pau, Pyrénées-Atlantiques, Aquitaine.

Ankerite and Pyrite on Quartz, Mésage Mine, Saint-Pierre-de-Mésage, Isère, France

Ankerite and Pyrite on Quartz, Mésage Mine, Saint-Pierre-de-Mésage, Isère, France

Ankerite and Pyrite on Quartz, Mésage Mine, Saint-Pierre-de-Mésage, Isère, France

 Ankerite and Pyrite on Quartz, Mésage Mine, Saint-Pierre-de-Mésage, Isère, France – 6.6 cm

Pyrite and Quartz on Siderite, Mésage Mine, Saint-Pierre-de-Mésage, Isère, France

 Pyrite and Quartz on Siderite, Mésage Mine, Saint-Pierre-de-Mésage, Isère, France

Siderite with Quartz, Mésage Mine, Saint-Pierre-de-Mésage, Isère, France

Siderite with Quartz, Mésage Mine, Saint-Pierre-de-Mésage, Isère, France – 4.9 cm

Bournonite, Barite, Mésage Mine, Saint-Pierre-de-Mésage, Isère, France

Bournonite, Barite, Mésage Mine, Saint-Pierre-de-Mésage, Isère, France

Ankerite, Pyrite, Mésage Mine, Saint-Pierre-de-Mésage, Isère, France

Ankerite, Pyrite, Mésage Mine, Saint-Pierre-de-Mésage, Isère, France – 6.4 cm

Ankerite and Pyrite on Quartz, Mésage Mine, Saint-Pierre-de-Mésage, Isère, France

Ankerite and Pyrite on Quartz, Mésage Mine, Saint-Pierre-de-Mésage, Isère, France

Bournonite, Les Malines District, Saint-Laurent-Le-Minier, Gard, Languedoc-Roussillon, France

Bournonite, Les Malines District, Saint-Laurent-Le-Minier, Gard, Languedoc-Roussillon, France – 4.7 cm

Calcite, Pau, Pyrénées-Atlantiques, Aquitaine, France

Calcite, Pau, Pyrénées-Atlantiques, Aquitaine, France

Posted by: Raymond McDougall on 09.02.2016 | Filed under: Latest, Mineral Shows | Comments (0)

 

In a valley in the Vosges region of France, the quiet town of Sainte-Marie-aux-Mines transforms into a bustling mineral and gem extravaganza every June. This is the most beautiful setting for any of the world’s major annual mineral shows, and attending is a great experience.

Sainte-Marie-aux-Mines 2016 mineral show

Sainte-Marie-aux-Mines, 2016

Although there was much stormy and unsettled weather across France and Germany this year, the towns of this area escaped the more significant flooding damage that affected so many communities elsewhere. The Rhine was certainly swollen with much more water than usual – and thunderstorms left debris on the roads – but for the most part, the rains just meant lots of green across the countryside.

Orschwiller, France

Vineyards, near Orschwiller. Chateau Haut Koenigsbourg is perched above, in the Vosges mountains.

I love the region’s idyllic small towns – quiet, with the calls of blackbirds overhead.

Saint Hippolyte, France

Saint Hippolyte, Haut-Rhin, France

Saint Hippolyte, France

Beautiful Alsace architecture bathed in a warm evening light

In the town of Ste. Marie itself, one of my favourite things about its setting is that the valley is quite steep, and so the forests and pastures form a backdrop for many of the views from down in the middle of the town.

Saint-Marie-aux-Mines, France

Saint-Marie-aux-Mines, Val D’Argent, France

The river and waterways of the town are channeled behind the houses and other buildings – and normally at this time of year there isn’t much water. This year, there was lots!

Ste. Marie-aux-Mines, France

Bubbling water channel running through Sainte-Marie-aux-Mines

One thing that really stood out this year was the temperature – it was HOT! Humid too. Lots of sun and haze… and you also had to watch for the late-afternoon thunderstorms.

Storm3

Signs of impending rain at Sainte-Marie-aux-Mines 2016

So I did see this one coming…

Storm1

Thunderstorm coming from up the Val D’Argent

…and I thought I had time to make it back to the car, but… ended up sheltering part way there, when the skies opened up!

Storm2

Rainwater streaming from waterspouts directly into the water channel that runs behind the houses – efficient!

The storms were short and did not make life uncomfortable for long – they were actually refreshing. In fact, there was something that made things far more uncomfortable at the show…

Halogen

300W halogen lights on stands. It is hard to find a hotter mainstream light source (!) – these were all over the indoor dealer displays.
I love the colour quality of halogen lights, but these things are stoves on sticks.

Sainte-Marie-aux_Mines, France

One of the tent-lined streets at Sainte-Marie-aux-Mines

For me the most exciting new find at Ste. Marie was actually not on public display. Tomasz Praszkier brought out the top new Moroccan aragonite specimens and they are truly superb! Aragonite is not a rare mineral, of course, and some aragonite localities are rather abundant producers, so, for example, we typically see lots of aragonite available from Tazouta, Morocco, and also from Minglanilla, Spain. (Even in those instances, truly fine specimens are not the rule, as the vast majority are damaged). These specimens exhibit twinning, with pseudo-hexagonal cyclic twins of aragonite. However, these new specimens from Mamsa are classic, elongated, tapered orthorhombic crystals in groups of radiating spikes and make for dramatic specimens.  Even though aragonite itself is uncommon, it is very hard to acquire high-quality specimens of this most classic habit.

In this case, Tomasz went through hundreds of flats (yes flats (!)) of material in Morocco, and the specimens I acquired from him are all in the top 20 to date (top 20 pieces, not flats!). Almost everything he saw was badly damaged. This bulk of lower quality material will undoubtedly begin to show up at future mineral shows, but – interesting – it was almost entirely absent among the Moroccan dealers in Ste. Marie.

Aragonite, Mamsa, nr. Sidi Ayed, Boulemane Province, Fes-Meknes Region, Morocco

Aragonite, Mamsa, nr. Sidi Ayed, Boulemane Province, Fes-Meknes Region, Morocco – 7.5 cm

Aragonite, Mamsa, nr. Sidi Ayed, Boulemane Province, Fes-Meknes Region, Morocco

Aragonite, Mamsa, nr. Sidi Ayed, Boulemane Province, Fes-Meknes Region, Morocco
Field of view 6 cm

It is notable that the aragonite at this locality does also occur in other habits, including as elongated pseudo-hexagonal twins, so we may see those in future. The locality itself is well-exposed in a barren area north of Sidi Ayed. The difficulty is that the material closer to the surface has been extracted, and this was the matrix that was easier to collect – as they’ve gone deeper, the matrix has been tougher, and the material from these deeper excavations has been damaged. Most collecting there has been by local collectors who are more often digging agates, and of course collecting these delicate aragonite sprays required different techniques and care – hence the high level of damage with most of this material.

Aragonite, Mamsa, nr. Sidi Ayed, Boulemane Province, Fes-Meknes Region, Morocco

 Aragonite, Mamsa, nr. Sidi Ayed, Boulemane Province, Fes-Meknes Region, Morocco – 6.9 cm

As usual, there were many Moroccan dealers with the usual – most had very typical material, in moderate condition. One interesting new find was some purple fluorite, from very narrow seams at a locality Elyachi, near Tatouine.

TatouineFluorite

 

Fluorite, Elyachi, nr. Tatouine, Meknes-Tafilalet, Morocco – 8.2 cm

One last note from Morocco is that the production of the beautiful blue barites from Sidi Lahcen (these ones) is reportedly finished. Although we always have to be skeptical when we are told that a locality is exhausted, the marketplace confirmed it in Ste. Marie this year, with almost no truly high-quality specimens available.

Speaking of high-quality specimens one cannot track down… I had hoped to bring back a few more of the bright yellow stilbite ball specimens from Mali (if you aren’t familiar with them, some are here). Although there were some at the show, they were all too damaged for our collections – I’m not sure that any were new. I suspect that most were the low-quality pieces from the original collecting of this material. I continue to keep an eye out for them, as they are some of the nicest yellow stilbite specimens I’ve ever seen, and they look so great in the cabinet. We’ll see what the future brings. In the meantime, I was able to pick up some excellent prehnite/epidote specimens from Mali, along with a sharp, lustrous vesuvianite.

Prehnite Mali

 Prehnite, Arrondissement Diako, Cercle de Bafoulabé, Kayes Region, Mali – 4.3 cm

New from France, French collector Grégoire de Bodinat recently collected some beautiful specimens at the Mésage Mine, Saint-Pierre-de-Mésage, Isère, France. The Mésage Mine was originally explored in the early-nineteenth century for iron, and the underground workings have been abandoned since the late-nineteenth century. Grégoire had a nice selection of high quality specimens from this classic region – siderite with quartz, ankerite crystals, and sharp bournonite crystals with white barite.

Ankerite and Pyrite on Quartz, Mésage Mine, Saint-Pierre-de-Mésage, Isère, France

Ankerite and Pyrite on Quartz, Mésage Mine, Saint-Pierre-de-Mésage, Isère, France

Ankerite and Pyrite on Quartz, Mésage Mine, Saint-Pierre-de-Mésage, Isère, France

Ankerite and Pyrite on Quartz, Mésage Mine, Saint-Pierre-de-Mésage, Isère, France – 6.6 cm

Pyrite and Quartz on Siderite, Mésage Mine, Saint-Pierre-de-Mésage, Isère, France

Pyrite and Quartz on Siderite, Mésage Mine, Saint-Pierre-de-Mésage, Isère, France

Siderite with Quartz, Mésage Mine, Saint-Pierre-de-Mésage, Isère, France

Siderite with Quartz, Mésage Mine, Saint-Pierre-de-Mésage, Isère, France – 4.9 cm

Bournonite, Barite, Mésage Mine, Saint-Pierre-de-Mésage, Isère, France

Bournonite, Barite, Mésage Mine, Saint-Pierre-de-Mésage, Isère, France

The Mésage Mine specimens are on the website here.

Finally, another great new find is from the Rudna Mine, Lubin District, Lower Silesia, Poland. This is of gypsum, var. selenite, with inclusions of herbertsmithite (a rare copper chloride mineral), making the specimens a vibrant green colour. These are gorgeous cabinet specimens! There were not many of these, and only a handful were top quality – I acquired all of the top quality ones.

Gypsum, var. Selenite, Herbertsmithite, Rudna Mine, Lubin District, Lower Silesia, Poland

Gypsum, var. Selenite, with inclusions of Herbertsmithite, Rudna Mine, Lubin District, Lower Silesia, Poland
Crystals up to approximately 3 cm

Displays

The Saint-Marie-aux-Mines show has hosted super displays in recent years.

This year, the main theme was Minerals and Wines (“Origines Pierres et Vins”), with some cases dedicated to matching mineral colours and wine colours, and others featuring the wines and minerals of a particular region.

DisplayRioja
Rioja, Spain – home of great wines and the incomparable pyrites of Navajun
Display by Pedro Conde

DisplayChessy4
The minerals and wines of the Chessy-les-Mines, Rhône

The Chessy case had some amazing specimens – here is a closer look at a few:

DisplayChessy1

Cuprite crystals, Chessy-les-Mines

DisplayChessy2

Azurite, Chessy-les-Mines – a gorgeous specimen,approximately 9 cm

From the Origines Pierres et Vins cases, I loved this Chanarcillo Prousite from the Collection of the Museum National d’Histoire Natural in Paris.

DisplayProustite

Proustite, Chanarcillo, Atacama, Chile – approximately 4 cm

The exposition also included a few cases dedicated to colours in minerals, explaining what causes the colours in certain minerals. These cases included many stunning specimens and here are a few.

DisplayAdamite

This adamite was an amazing hue – approximately 5 cm

This next one looks at a glance like it’s a classic from Amatitlan, Guererro, Mexico, but look at the label… (!)

DisplayAmethyst

Amethyst, Traversella, Piedmont, Italy, approximately 20 cm

This photo doesn’t do this crystal justice – an astounding, lustrous, old-time Red Cloud wulfenite, pristine…

DisplayWulfenite
Wulfenite, Red Cloud Mine, La Paz Co., Arizona – crystal approximatey 4 cm
Collection of the Musée Mineralogie de Mines, Paris Tech

And finally, while we’re on the subject of the causes of colour in minerals, and leaving the displays… I wandered into one dealer with new crystals of “Amegreen” (!). These are Uruguayan amethysts that have been subjected to radiation in a lab, to turn them green. Blech!! (At least the dealer was openly disclosing the origins of the colour.)

Amegreen

Quartz, originally var. amethyst, tortured and turned green in a lab using radiation – marketed as “Amegreen”
Artigas, Uruguay

 Sainte-Marie-aux-Mines is such a great show. I already can’t wait for next year, and hope to see you there!

St. Hippolyte, France

 Beautiful summer evening in Alsace

Posted by: Raymond McDougall on 06.07.2016 | Filed under: Latest, Recent Mineral Updates | Comments (0)

 

I’ve added some great specimens in this Mont Saint-Hilaire Update (click here). One of the world’s great mineral localities, with over 400 species, the quarry has been closed to collecting since 2007 (with isolated exceptions that have not produced specimens in any quantity). The specimens in this update are from finds dated from 1988 to 2007.

One of the most remarkable aspects of collecting at Mont Saint-Hilaire is that no two occurrences are the same – the mineralized zones and pockets are each different, with varied mineral assemblages and crystal habits. This selection of specimens represents several different finds, each of which was unique.

Serandite, Mont Saint-Hilaire, Quebec, Canada

Serandite, Mont Saint-Hilaire, Quebec, Canada – 3.4 cm

Serandite, Mont Saint-Hilaire, Quebec, Canada

Serandite, Mont Saint-Hilaire, Quebec, Canada – 3.4 cm

Serandite, Mont Saint-Hilaire, Quebec, Canada

Serandite, Mont Saint-Hilaire, Quebec, Canada – 3.2 cm

Analcime pseudomorph after analcime, Mont Saint-Hilaire, Quebec, Canada

Analcime pseudomorph after analcime, Mont Saint-Hilaire, Quebec, Canada – 3.7 cm

Manganoneptunite on catapleiite pseudomorph after sodalite, Mont Saint-Hilaire, Quebec, Canada

Manganoneptunite on catapleiite pseudomorph after sodalite, Mont Saint-Hilaire, Quebec, Canada
Field of view 1.0 cm

Rhodochrosite (twinned), Mont Saint-Hilaire, Quebec, Canada

Rhodochrosite (twinned), Mont Saint-Hilaire, Quebec, Canada – 4.5 cm

Analcime on microcline, Mont Saint-Hilaire, Quebec, Canada

Analcime on microcline, Mont Saint-Hilaire, Quebec, Canada – 4.6 cm

Serandite with epidiymite, Mont Saint-Hilaire, Quebec, Canada

Serandite with epididymite, Mont Saint-Hilaire, Quebec, Canada – 7.3 cm

Sodalite, var. hackmanite, pink albite, Mont Saint-Hilaire, Quebec, Canada

Sodalite, var. hackmanite with pink albite coating, Mont Saint-Hilaire, Quebec, Canada – 4.4 cm

Sodalite, var. hackmanite with pink albite coating, Mont Saint-Hilaire, Quebec, Canada

Sodalite, var. hackmanite with albite coating, Mont Saint-Hilaire, Quebec, Canada – 2.5 cm

Narsarsukite, Mont Saint-Hilaire, Quebec, Canada

Narsarsukite, Mont Saint-Hilaire, Quebec, Canada – 1.2 cm crystal

Leucophanite, Mont Saint-Hilaire, Quebec, Canada

Leucophanite, Mont Saint-Hilaire, Quebec, Canada – 2.4 cm

Analcime, Mont Saint-Hilaire, Quebec, Canada

Analcime, Mont Saint-Hilaire, Quebec, Canada – 3.6 cm

Rhodochrosite pseudomorph after serandite, Mont Saint-Hilaire, Quebec, Canada

Rhodochrosite pseudomorph after serandite, Mont Saint-Hilaire, Quebec, Canada – 3.3 cm

Quartz with albite and gaidonnayite, Mont Saint-Hilaire, Quebec, Canada

Quartz with albite and gaidonnayite, Mont Saint-Hilaire, Quebec, Canada – 6.3 cm

Quartz with albite and gaidonnayite, Mont Saint-Hilaire, Quebec, Canada

Quartz with albite and gaidonnayite, Mont Saint-Hilaire, Quebec, Canada – 4.2 cm

Quartz, Mont Saint-Hilaire, Quebec, Canada

Quartz, Mont Saint-Hilaire, Quebec, Canada – 3.2 cm

Elpidite, Mont Saint-Hilaire, Quebec, Canada

Elpidite, Mont Saint-Hilaire, Quebec, Canada – 3.2 cm

Elpidite, Mont Saint-Hilaire, Quebec, Canada

Elpidite, Mont Saint-Hilaire, Quebec, Canada – 4.5 cm

Posted by: Raymond McDougall on 04.23.2016 | Filed under: Latest, Recent Mineral Updates | Comments (0)

 

I’ve posted a small group of excellent specimens in the new Russia Update (click here).  These include beautiful high-quality crystals of axinite-(Fe) from two localites, intense blue azurite balls and sharp copper crystals from the Rubstovskoe Mine, great calcite crystals from the Dal’negorsk district and more.

Axinite-(Fe), Puiva Mount, Saranpaul, Tyumenskaya Oblast', Ural Mountains, RussiaAxinite-(Fe), Puiva Mount, Saranpaul, Tyumenskaya Oblast’, Ural Mountains, Russia – 5.8 cm

Axinite-(Fe), Bor Pit, Dal'negorsk, Primorskiy Kray, Russia
Axinite-(Fe), Bor Pit, Dal’negorsk, Primorskiy Kray, Russia – 4.8 cm

Axinite-(Fe), Bor Pit, Dal'negorsk, Primorskiy Kray, Russia
Axinite-(Fe), Bor Pit, Dal’negorsk, Primorskiy Kray, Russia

Axinite-(Fe), Bor Pit, Dal'negorsk, Primorskiy Kray, Russia

Axinite-(Fe), Bor Pit, Dal’negorsk, Primorskiy Kray, Russia

Axinite-(Fe), Bor Pit, Dal'negorsk, Primorskiy Kray, Russia

Axinite-(Fe), Bor Pit, Dal’negorsk, Primorskiy Kray, Russia

Azurite, Rubtsovskoe Mine, Rudnyi Altai, Altiskii Krai, Russia

Azurite, Rubtsovskoe Mine, Rudnyi Altai, Altiskii Krai, Russia – 3.7 cm

Azurite, Rubtsovskoe Mine, Rudnyi Altai, Altiskii Krai, Russia

Azurite, Rubtsovskoe Mine, Rudnyi Altai, Altiskii Krai, Russia – 3.5 cm

101295(2)(fov 3.0)

Copper, Rubtsovskoe Mine, Rudnyi Altai, Altiskii Krai, Russia
Field of view – 3.0 cm

Calcite, Second Sovietskiy Mine, Dal'negorsk, Primorskiy Kray, Russia

Calcite, Second Sovietskiy Mine, Dal’negorsk, Primorskiy Kray, Russia – 6.5 cm

Calcite, Yushnoe Mine, Dal'negorsk, Primorskiy Kray, Russia

Calcite, Yushnoe Mine, Dal’negorsk, Primorskiy Kray, Russia
Field of view – 3.0 cm

Calcite, Yushnoe Mine, Dal'negorsk, Primorskiy Kray, Russia

Calcite, Yushnoe Mine, Dal’negorsk, Primorskiy Kray, Russia – 1.3 cm twinned crystal

Calcite, Yushnoe Mine, Dal'negorsk, Primorskiy Kray, Russia

Calcite, Yushnoe Mine, Dal’negorsk, Primorskiy Kray, Russia – 4.5 cm

Datolite, Bor Pit, Dal'negorsk, Primorskiy Kray, Russia

Datolite, Bor Pit, Dal’negorsk, Primorskiy Kray, Russia
Field of view 1.5 cm

101290(1)

Quartz, Anatase, Brookite
Dodo Mine, Saranpaul, Tyumenskaya Oblast’, Ural Mountains, Russia
10.4 cm

Posted by: Raymond McDougall on 04.07.2016 | Filed under: Latest, Recent Mineral Updates | Comments (0)

 

I’ve added a few colourful new specimens in this Morocco Update (click here).  This update includes some particularly fine and unusual pieces, including a super azurite-malachite from the Tasalart Mine, Tafraout, exceptional fluorites from Sidi Said, hot pink cobaltoan dolomites, a glowing jewel of a cobaltoan calcite from the Agoudal Mine in the Bou Azzer district, a mirror-bright skutterudite from the Bouismas Mine and a beautiful, classic twinned cerussite from Touissit.

Azurite and malachite pseudomorphs after azurite, Tazalart Mine, Tafraout, Tiznit Province, Morocco

 Azurite and malachite pseudomorphs after azurite, Tazalart Mine, Tafraout, Tiznit Province, Morocco
Field of view 4.5 cm

Fluorite, Chebka Sidi Said, Midelt, Khenifra Province, Morocco

Fluorite, Chebka Sidi Said, Midelt, Khenifra Province, Morocco – 4.o cm

 Fluorite, Chebka Sidi Said, Midelt, Khenifra Province, Morocco

Fluorite with quartz, Chebka Sidi Said, Midelt, Khenifra Province, Morocco – 5.2 cm

Dolomite, var. cobaltoan dolomite, Agoudal Mine, Bou Azzer District, Tazenakht, Ouarzazate Province, Morocco

Dolomite, var. cobaltoan dolomite, Agoudal Mine, Bou Azzer District
Tazenakht, Ouarzazate Province, Morocco – 5.7 cm

Dolomite, var. cobaltoan dolomite, Agoudal Mine, Bou Azzer District, Tazenakht, Ouarzazate Province, Morocco

Dolomite, var. cobaltoan dolomite, Agoudal Mine, Bou Azzer District
Tazenakht, Ouarzazate Province, Morocco
Field of view – 3.0 cm

Calcite, var. cobaltoan calcite, Agoudal Mine, Bou Azzer District, Tazenakht, Ouarzazate Province, Morocco

Calcite, var. cobaltoan calcite, Agoudal Mine, Bou Azzer District
Tazenakht, Ouarzazate Province, Morocco – 13.7 cm

Calcite, var. cobaltoan calcite, Agoudal Mine, Bou Azzer District, Tazenakht, Ouarzazate Province, Morocco

Calcite, var. cobaltoan calcite, Agoudal Mine, Bou Azzer District,
Tazenakht, Ouarzazate Province, Morocco
Field of view 2.2 cm

Calcite, var. cobaltoan calcite, Agoudal Mine, Bou Azzer District, Tazenakht, Ouarzazate Province, Morocco

Calcite, var. cobaltoan calcite, Agoudal Mine, Bou Azzer District
Tazenakht, Ouarzazate Province, Morocco
Field of view – 3.0 cm

Calcite, var. cobaltoan calcite, Agoudal Mine, Bou Azzer District, Tazenakht, Ouarzazate Province, Morocco

Calcite, var. cobaltoan calcite, Agoudal Mine, Bou Azzer District
Tazenakht, Ouarzazate Province, Morocco
Field of view – 2.5 cm

Skutterudite, Bouismas Mine, Bou Azzer District, Tazenakht, Ouarzazate Province, Morocco

Skutterudite, Bouismas Mine, Bou Azzer District
Tazenakht, Ouarzazate Province, Morocco
Field of view – 2.5 cm

Quartz on Chalcedony, Sidi Rahal, El Kelaa des Sraghna Province, Morocco

Quartz on Chalcedony, Sidi Rahal, El Kelaa des Sraghna Province, Morocco
Field of view – 3.0 cm

Quartz var. Amethyst, Sidi Rahal, El Kelaa des Sraghna Province, Morocco

Quartz var. Amethyst, Sidi Rahal, El Kelaa des Sraghna Province, Morocco
Field of view – 5.0 cm

Cerussite, Touissit, Jerada Province, Oriental Region, Morocco

Cerussite, Touissit, Jerada Province, Oriental Region, Morocco – 3.1 cm